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GUEST COLUMN: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Reviewing Community Theatre?

June 28th, 2021
GUEST COLUMN: How Do You Solve A Problem Like Reviewing Community Theatre?

Author’s Note: The reactions noted below should not be attributed to the cast and crew of CCT’s production of “The Music Man.” These reactions existed mostly in the form of online responses from people not associated with the show. By Lou Hare Recently, a review of Countryside Community Theatre’s recent production of “The Music Man,” written by Tristan Tapscott, circulated online. Unlike your typical review of most Community Theatre productions, the review was pointed and, well, critical. And a lot of people lost their shit. The responses online range from the typical disagreement... Read More

REVIEW: Augustana Musical Theater Prof Offered a Wonderful Time in Personal “Mary and Ethel” Tribute

June 27th, 2021
REVIEW: Augustana Musical Theater Prof Offered a Wonderful Time in Personal “Mary and Ethel” Tribute

You know when they say film versions of stage plays often “open them up” with exterior settings or other visual changes that are not possible or feasible in a theater? Well, two already remarkable stage shows at this month’s Mississippi Bend Players – the top-notch professional summer stock at Augustana College – have benefitted from that approach, both without leaving an indoor theater. Just a week after its first 2021 production, “Red” (which premiered in 2012 at QC Theatre Workshop), MBP again transformed the Brunner Theatre Center into a spacious, sophisticated cabaret with Shelley... Read More

A Special “Music Man” Opens at Countryside Community Theatre in Eldridge

June 24th, 2021
A Special “Music Man” Opens at Countryside Community Theatre in Eldridge

“The Music Man” – opening Friday at Countryside Community Theatre in Eldridge – is special for many reasons, for its director and three main leads. Tommy Ratkiewicz-Stierwalt, the director, is excited to be making his directorial debut at CCT, performing at the North Scott High School Fine Arts Theater, 200 S. 1st St., Eldridge. Raised in Moline, he acted in many school productions, eventually branching out into the community. Ratkiewicz-Stierwalt played Marcellus Washburn (a former con man and friend to Harold Hill who lives in River City) in “Music Man” in 2016, in Tipton, Iowa. “I... Read More

REVIEW: Genesius Guild’s ‘Measure for Measure’ Really Measures up

June 24th, 2021
REVIEW: Genesius Guild's 'Measure for Measure' Really Measures up

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? More specifically, a summer evening spent watching a performance of Shakespeare as the sun shines golden on a stone amphitheater? Genesius Guild is showing “Measure for Measure (abridged)”, which will run for two more nights on June 26 and June 27 at 7pm in the Rock Island Lincoln Park “Measure for Measure” showcased a metatheatrical experience and began by introducing the actors to the stage as themselves. Throughout the play, the actors remained visible to the audience. Such a peculiar opening invites the audience to partake in... Read More

Mockingbird On Main Holding Auditions For ‘Enemy Of The People’ Tonight

June 24th, 2021
Mockingbird On Main Holding Auditions For 'Enemy Of The People' Tonight

The Mockingbird On Main will be holding an audition for a new adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s Enemy of the People by Quad City playwright Alexander Richardson on Thursday, June 24 at 7pm. This powerful drama explores the impact of pollution in a small town and the consequences of uncovering the truth. Follow the story of one  man’s brave struggle to do the right thing in the face of extreme scrutiny and social intolerance. In Richardson’s modern-day reimagining of the classic Ibsen tale, it is revealed that the true corruption in the town and the entire country is that all the power... Read More

Rock Island’s Circa ’21 Seeks Actor Submissions for New “Disenchanted” Musical

June 23rd, 2021
Rock Island's Circa ’21 Seeks Actor Submissions for New “Disenchanted” Musical

Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse, in Rock Island, is accepting acting submissions now for the hilarious off-Broadway hit musical comedy, “Disenchanted.” Poisoned apples. Glass slippers. Who needs ’em?! Not Snow White and her posse of disenchanted princesses in the hit musical that is “anything but Grimm,” according to a Circa release. Forget the princesses you think you know – the original storybook heroines have come back to life to set the record straight. At the artistic helm of this new musical are St. Ambrose theatre professor, professional actor and director Corinne Johnson, and longtime... Read More

Mike Schulz — “Red”’s Rothko — Reflects on a Rare Feat, a Double Play

June 20th, 2021
Mike Schulz -- “Red”’s Rothko -- Reflects on a Rare Feat, a Double Play

Before the remarkable run of “Red” – the Mississippi Bend Players production that concluded earlier today, lead actor Mike Schulz reflected on getting to play the real-life abstract-expressionist artist Mark Rothko. Twice. Now 53, the thoughtful, passionate and intense Schulz reflected on his past nine years living with the play – done first with a tiny group at QC Theatre Workshop, running over three weekends, and recently with a crew of at least a dozen at MBP, with just four performances over one weekend. “John Logan’s script is so amazing, and so engaging and audience-friendly,... Read More

REVIEW: Electrifying, Literate “Red” Pulses With Emotion, Brilliance at Augustana

June 17th, 2021
REVIEW: Electrifying, Literate “Red” Pulses With Emotion, Brilliance at Augustana

Words and art are my business – as tools, objects of affection, contemplation and worship, ways to make sense and meaning of life – as they are for “Red,” the brilliant, caustic, literate John Logan play given a fantastic, thrilling new production by Mississippi Bend Players at Augustana College. Over an emotional 90-minute rollercoaster — in an action-packed, dialogue-dense one act, first-class director Cait Bodenbender and peerless actors Mike Schulz and Tristan Odenkirk grab your attention and never let go. It’s as riveting, passionate, thought-provoking – and deeply committed... Read More

Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities Audiences

June 17th, 2021
Kira Rangel Is Quickly Making An Impression With Quad-Cities Audiences

Artists in Conversation is a weekly column running on QuadCities.com. It features a conversation with a local creator or creators going into their artistic process, projects and more. Get to know your local arts scene and local creators better on QuadCities.com with Artists In Conversation! If you’re a local creator and would like to be featured, please email us at Sean@QuadCities.com or Tristan@QuadCities.com! This week’s artist is KIRA RANGEL, currently featured in Beehive and Elephant & Piggie and the up-coming The Mountaintop, The Rocky Horror Show You’re new to Quad City audiences.... Read More

Genesius Guild Back to Live Theater This Weekend in Rock Island for First Time in Two Years

June 16th, 2021
Genesius Guild Back to Live Theater This Weekend in Rock Island for First Time in Two Years

An adapted version of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure will open the Genesius Guild’s 2021 season with performances at 7 p.m. on June 19, 20, 26, and 27. All performances are held at the Don Wooten Stage in Lincoln Park, 1120 40th St., Rock Island, and admission is free. Opening weekend marks the Genesius Guild’s return to live theater after cancelling the 2020 season. Sometimes known as one of Shakespeare’s problem plays – shows that are not explicitly comedies or tragedies – Measure for Measure is a “fascinating exploration of how power can corrupt, with comedic overtones,”... Read More